Pokémon has been around for so long that the fans span all ages. It's still a series that is meant, ostensibly, for children. The bright colors, the simple mechanics and bare-bones story with black-and-white morality, it’s all for a younger set. Pokémon was many gamers’ introduction to a role-playing type game. The games are fun but harmless adventures.
While this is for the most part true, Pokémon is quite as toothless as some might believe. Outwardly, the series is the definition of family-friendly. There are semi-hidden corners of the series that hide some horrific secrets.
Every time a pocket monster is caught, players are treated to a quick description of them in a Pokédex entry. Most people simply skip over these little fun facts, and thereby completely ignore that many of the facts are the exact opposite of fun. Pokédex entries reveal some of the most terrifying information about everyone’s favorite kiddie collect-a-thon. It’s a good thing that most kids skip over the Pokédex description because to read and absorb them would cause long-lasting trauma.
The Pokédex entries can change from game to game. So, it’s conceivable from one entry to another that a description can be toned down or changed. For the most, however, the longer the series has gone, the more chilling the Pokédex has become -- age has not mellowed out the franchise.
From Pokemon Red and Blue to Sun and Moon, here are the 20 Pokédex Entries In Pokémon That Will TERRIFY Children.
"Xatu stands rooted and still in one spot all day long. People believe that this Pokémon does so out of fear of the terrible things it has foreseen in the future."
Upon first examination Xatu doesn't seem quite that bad. It’s a standard bird-looking Pokémon and the ability to see into the future is probably very useful in a game with a turn-based combat system. The more one thinks about Xatu, the more appalling it becomes.
Xatu represents an inevitability. The world won't possibly end one day. According to Xatu, it will certainly end, or at least something cataclysmic will happen. It’s just a matter of time.
The future is not a place for hope, change or transformation. It’s a paralyzingly horrific place with no hope of redemption. The future and world, at least for Xatu, is one filled with misery and despair. (Now catch it and have fun on your "dog-fighting" adventure.)
"When its life comes to an end, it absorbs the life energy of every living thing and turns into a cocoon once more."
There’s obviously some mythical phoenix inspiration with the legendary Pokémon from Pokémon Y, Yvetal. It’s a big red bird, after all. It’s not exactly subtle. Yet when a phoenix is reborn, it doesn’t take everything out with it in some insane one-sided suicidal pact.
Yvetal is, quite simply, a serial killer. It’s true that it doesn’t necessarily need to kill people or sentient beings to revive itself, but it certainly won’t spare them. Yvetal is less a Pokémon and more a ticking time bomb.
The point of every Pokémon game is to collect the legendary monster found at the end of the story. With Yvetal, it might be best to let them just run free... unless you want your character’s destiny to be the supernatural fuel for the winged beast's resurrection.
"The soul of a woman lost on a snowy mountain possessed an icicle, becoming this Pokémon. The food it most relishes is the souls of men."
Believe or not, the entries will get far worse than Froslass. However, Frosslass being a vengeful man-eater is the stuff of nightmares. The origins of a Frosslass are truly awful. Frosslasses aren’t just the souls of dead women. They’re the souls of dead women who died the slow and painful death of freezing and/or starving.
Frosslass are born in pain and they spent the rest of their life trying to cause the same misery. The fact that it seems to specifically target men does seems a bit unfair. Yet, you try turning into a icicle monster and see how reasonable you feel about revenge.
"It has trouble drawing a line between friends and food. It will calmly try to melt and eat even those it gets along well with."
The fact that anything as dopey as Sligoo could be so menacing is the terrifying dichotomy of the Pokémon franchise in one simple example. Sligoo looks like a dumb slug but it’s a dumb slug that is so dumb it’ll kill you, even if it loves you.
Sligoo is a monster but it’s a monster that doesn’t understand its true horrifying depths. There’s no reasoning with a Sligoo because it lacks all reason. Any basic Sligoo can turn on its trainer if it just gets the slightest bit peckish.
It doesn’t appear to be an easy digestion process either. Sligoo doesn’t just eat its friends alive, it melts them first. Melting is the top ten worse ways to die, easily.
"Its actual appearance is unknown. A scholar who saw what was under its rag was overwhelmed by terror and died from the shock."
Upon its reveal, before the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Mimikyu took the internet by storm. It's hand drawn, cheap imitation of the face of the franchise, Pikachu, appealed to everyone's love of the underdog. Mimikyu just wanted to be loved, or so fans thought. The Pokédex entry is a lot less Rudy and a whole lot more Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Mimikyu isn't just ugly. It's so extraordinarily and tremendously ugly that it can cause screaming instantaneous death. Mimikyu's Pikachu impression isn't about being accepted. It's about luring potential victims into it's metaphorical web, so it can annihilate them.
"Dusclops's body is completely hollow—there is nothing at all inside. It is said that its body is like a black hole. This Pokémon will absorb anything into its body, but nothing will ever come back out."
With Dusclops, the Pokédex is a little bit more complex in its terror. Dusclops taps into the idea of the void, a perfect nothingness. It’s not a malicious killer but that’s just because Dusclops is nothing.
It’s nihilism in motion. Nothing matters to Dusclops because nothing exists to it. It’s hollow, empty and unfeeling. It’s The Terminator without Arnold’s folksy and unexplained Austrian accent.
It’s a little bit like Xatu, disturbing, but only for those who can truly understand what it means. Dusclops does have a bit of an edge on Xatu in that it can't just see a paralyzing future, it can cause one too.
"Although Gorebyss is the very picture of elegance and beauty while swimming, it is also cruel. When it spots prey, this Pokémon inserts its thin mouth into the prey’s body and drains the prey of its body fluids."
Gorebyss having a seashell "bra" similar to those seen in The Little Mermaid is just the teensy bit distracting. There's no reason for it to exist but that's fitting. There's also no reason for this glorified eel to be one of the worst things to live in the ocean, fictional or otherwise.
The saving grace of Gorebyss is that the Pokédex doesn’t specify what type of prey it will attack. Gorebyss might not be going after everyone who gets waist deep into the ocean tide. The nagging possibility does exist that it could. Gorebyss might not drain everything and everyone who wades into the ocean depths but that it could is more than enough.
"If a traveler is going through a desert in the thick of night, Cacturne will follow in a ragtag group. The Pokémon are biding their time, waiting for the traveler to tire and become incapable of moving."
The true horror of Cacturne isn’t what its Pokédex describes in detail. Like many similar monsters' entries, it’s what the description leaves up to the twisted imagination. Of course, Cacturne stalking people like a group of vicious lions doesn’t imply kind intentions. It’s highly unlikely that Cacturne are waiting for travelers to tire so they can revive them and assist them on their way.
The ambiguity presents a number of murderous possibilities, each more shocking than the last. Cacturne exists in a desert, a land barren of life. It might just because of the Cacturne that the desert is such a wasteland of life.
"While shining a light and pretending to be a guide, it leeches off the life force of any who follow it."
The Pokémon franchise might come with the tagline, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All,” but in reality, the Pokémon appear to be hunting humanity just as much, if not more, than the trainers.
It’s easy to mock Litwick’s design as being a basic candle. Clearly the effort that The Pokémon Company saved in designing Litwick went into crafting one of the most disturbing descriptions imaginable. In fact, the simple design makes Litwick even scarier.
It’s meant to unassuming and adorable. This just makes Litwick’s job easier, a job which literally consists of eating souls. Before you make fun of Pokémon designs running out of ideas, think about the fact the “laziness” might just be a ploy to kill you.
"Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry."
Yamask, obviously, isn't the first Pokémon on this list that finds it origins in humanity. The line between Pokémon and trainers is far thinner than many gamers likely realize. Even if Yamask is part of recurring trend for the series, its story is one of the most compelling.
It’s a little bit more heartbreaking than spine-chilling. There’s very little getting around that this strange squiggle of a pocket monster is continually floating around with its own dead face. There's nothing okay about that.
Yamask’s existence seems to an equal opportunity punishment. It not only has to be constantly reminded with of its old life, but anyone who faces it must deal head-on (literally) with their own morality.
"It enwraps its prey in its hairlike arms. It sings joyfully as it observes the suffering of its prey."
Gourgeist does have a jack-o’-lantern for a body. So the backstory was never going to be pleasant. Gourgeist having killer “hair” is a twist that M. Night Shyamalan (in his prime) wouldn’t conceivably dream up.
The truly terrifying thing about Gourgeist is the intimate way in which it attacks. It’s seemingly choking the life out of fellow Pokémon and doing it “joyfully.” It even sings whilst it devours.
There are scant few things that make as horrifying a combination as song and slaughter. There’s a reason that so many horror movie trailers include ominous musical overtures and it’s not because it promotes a feeling of calm.
"The bug host is drained of energy by the mushrooms on its back. They appear to do all the thinking."
Sony’s The Last of Us is one of the great zombie stories. It takes the well-worn trope and with its enemy “clickers” and creates a monster that feels real and relatable because it’s based on actual science. The Last of Us' zombies are just dead humans being infected by a killer fungus, something that exists in nature. Pokémon, however, did same thing with one of their monsters years before The Last of Us hit the scene.
Parasect looks like a cartoon hermit crab, the “pet” of many a beach-going kid. It’s not a hermit crab, it’s a poor soul who is being controlled by a foreign and tumorous growth.
Parasect does, at least, live in a state of ignorance bliss. It doesn't have to live with the knowledge that’s still basically a corpse being controlled by a malicious mushroom. Everyone else does have to face that reality.
"This Pokémon has the habit of hugging its companions. Many Trainers have left this world after their spines were squashed by its hug."
Bewear looks like a lovable doofus. It’s has all the motifs of a theme park mascot with its wide-eyed expression and over-sized lanky limbs. Thankfully, the Pokédex entry acknowledges the universal truth that mascot costumes are terrifying shells representing broken dreams.
Bewear is essentially Lenny from Of Mice and Men. It’s goofy, slightly dumb, and doesn’t know its own strength. It doesn’t mean to kill but it can’t just help itself. Spoilers for the 1937 novel, but there’s a reason that Lenny had to be euthanized at end of Of Mice and Men.
Bewear wants to help but it’s adorable innocence is what it makes an unrepentant killing machine. The name isn’t just a pun, it’s a warning.
"It apparently wishes for a traveling companion. Since it was once human itself, it tries to create one by taking the lives of other humans."
Uncertainty is never ideal. When that indecisiveness refers to something’s willingness to murder it becomes deeply disturbing. Gengar's entire description is creepy but the use of apparently and the obscurity it inspires is worst part.
Gengar is one of the series’ first ghost Pokémon, and as such, it straddles the line between cute and creepy. The Pokédex entry sends it far to the dark side of that equation. It’s bad enough that it used to be human. To add on to that it’s searching for companionship in its hellish afterlife is simultaneously heartbreaking and horrifying. It’s not clear if we should feel bad for Gengar or run away from it screaming.
The one thing that should be obvious though is that having a Gengar on your Pokémon team is the definition of playing with fire.
"A theory exists that this Pokémon was a young boy who couldn't control his psychic powers and ended up transformed into this Pokémon."
There are a couple things that keeps Kadabra from topping this list. Being someone with uncontrollable psychic powers isn’t exactly a standard thing, whether in the real world or the Pokémon universe. The other is that that the Pokédex treats this story as a theory, not a fact. Everything else though, is just plain awful.
For starters, Kadabra is a Pokémon with two other different stages of evolution. If this entry is true, doesn’t that mean that Abras are human babies who couldn’t control their powers? Then there’s the final form of Alakazam, a Pokémon whose brain cells multiple constantly until it dies.
Kadabras can only evolve after being traded, meaning their stuck in a state of perpetual puberty – likely remembering their old lives -- until someone trades them away and they (eventually) die.
Their whole gimmick of holding spoons, seems a lot less cutesy now.
"If your nose becomes itchy while you are sleeping, it's a sure sign that one of these Pokémon is standing above your pillow and trying to eat you dream through your nostrils."
It is ironic that Drowzee is phonetically the same as "drowsy" because it inspires the exact opposite of sleep. Drowzee's greatest power isn't any of its moves in battle. It's causing insomnia after reading its Pokédex entry.
Drowsee’s crime, as it were, seems harmless. It’s just stealing dreams, which aren’t exactly essential. It’s the story surrounding it that makes it so very creepy.
Is Drowsee just lying in wait in people’s bedroom closets waiting for them to fall asleep? Does it just magically appear when someone hits REM sleep? Nothing’s clear and every answer is dreadful.
"According to old tales, these Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died while lost in the forest."
By and large, Pokémon is a portable game series. It can be played anywhere, at any time. God forbid, anyone plays it on a camping trip or in some other rural wooded area after reading about Phantump.
It’s obvious, at this point, that the Pokémon franchise has a not-so-secret obsession with death and/or child transformation. Phantump manages to take it several steps further. It’s not just that the story of Phantump starts off like most creepy campfire tales. It’s that discover it you have to trap a Phantump, the spirit of a terrified dead child, in a small ball forcing it to fight.
Yes, according to the lore of the series Pokémon like to fight but it’s hard to imagine Phantump enjoying anything.
"A doll that became a Pokémon over its grudge from being junked. It seeks the child that disowned it."
Any horror fan will know that a doll coming to life is a very bad sign. A doll coming to life that can hurl projectiles and has the literal power to curse and hex, that’s a reason to enter the Pokémon equivalent of the Witness Protection Program.
Banette is a nightmare on every level and every age group. It’ll make kids never want to even slightly ignore their toys lest they try to murder them. Meanwhile, parents will have to deal with an unholy irrational fear from their kids about ever trashing one of their unused and ratty dolls.
Worst of all though, Banette seems to go to the murderous clown school of being creepy. It’s eyes are straight sociopathic but its mouth is a state of perpetual grin.
"Buried beneath the castle are masses of dried-up bones from those whose vitality it has drained."
Never judge a Pokémon by its appearance. Passoland is not a funny anthropomorphic sand castle. It is a terror that makes the beaches of the Alola region a life-sucking hellscape.
Anyone who reads the Pokédex knows that the luscious shores of the franchise’s newest region aren’t a relaxation designation. They’re guerilla warzone hotspots; where the harmless looking sand castles hide beasts that are as hungry as they are deadly. Passoland makes it impossible to look at another sand castle, a boring but innocent symbol of childhood, without shivering.
The Pokédex entry is a little unclear if the bones that Passoland collected are human or for the bodies of other desiccated Pokémon. Either way, it’s a good foundation for a horror movie not a colorful RPG.
"Stories go that it grabs the hands of small children and drags them away to the afterlife. It dislikes heavy children."
This monster is proof that it is possible for Pokémon to be horrifying and hilarious at all the same time. Drifloon is easily one of the more innocent looking Pokémon. It's a straight-up balloon. However, obviously that's just a facade for it being a literal (skinny) child murderer.
There’s so much to unpack, not the least of which is that balloon can literally lift people to the afterlife. The most wonderfully morbid detail, however, is that Drifloon has a strict “no fatties” policy.
Drifloon has no problem killing kiddies, it just doesn’t want to struggle to it. There’s nothing scarier (in Pokémon) than a lazy murderer.
What is the most horrifying Pokédex entry you've read in a Pokémon game? Which terrifying Pokémon did we overlook? Sound off in the comments!